Wits beats out Crusaders

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Wits defenders tackle Crusaders forward Sarah Harley.

Wits defenders tackle Crusaders forward Sarah Harley. Pic: Jay Caboz

Playing in their first game of the Indoor Season, Wits 1st Women’s Hockey put to bed a half-asleep Crusaders 1st with a comfortable 5-3 win, at the Fourways High School Indoor Hall on Monday evening.

From the start of the game Wits’ manoeuvres up front proved to be too difficult to keep track of for the Crusaders defence.  One of Wit’s new signings, Kirstin Simone, found herself with acres of space in the 7th minute at the top of the D and neatly slotted the first goal of the game.

Shortly after, Simone found herself in a similar situation and calmly dribbled the keeper to put Wits 2-0 up in the 10th minute.

Crusaders’ Des Miller managed to get a grip on the game for her side after she pulled a goal back just before the stroke of half time in the 19th minute.

The second half  saw Crusaders begin to have more and more of an influence on the game.  But Wits Captain Jamie Martin halted the Crusaders build-up after she dribbled the Crusaders goalkeeper, on counter attack, in the 23rd minute and gave Wits a two goal cushion.

Thanks to a brilliant piece of individual play by Crusaders striker Sarah Harley, Crusad

Wits Striker Kirstin Simone takes a shot shortly into the first half.

Wits Striker Kirstin Simone takes a shot shortly into the first half. Pic: Jay Caboz

ers managed to pull another goal back to bring the score to 3-2.

Wits sat back and cushioned a steady stream of pressure from Crusaders. As a result Wits conceded a number of penalty corners. But Crusaders didn’t take advantage of the corners, mainly thanks to some acrobatic aerial saves from Wits goalkeeper Zimisile Shanghe.

Crusaders ended up committing too many players forward leaving too much space for Wit’s strikers, who positioned themselves for the counter attack opportunities. Wits defender Demi du Toit found Simone once again unmarked on the side boards high in Crusaders territory. Simone duly converted leaving the score line at 4-2, and completing a hat trick for herself.

Crusaders threw in a final gamble by substituting their keeper with another striker and opting to play with six outfield players. The strategy seemed to be paying off as Crusaders continued to have shots on target. But Wits’ Martin cornered a lone defender and slotted a 5th goal.

Crusaders Heidi Tessendorf managed to squeeze in one final goal in the 38th minute but it was a case of too little too late for the losing team.

The final whistle blew with Wits winning the match 5-3 and announcing their introduction to the 2013 season.

 

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